Modern Project Management

(ISSN: 2317-3963)

Evolution of Project Management Research and Industry-focused Innovations

Alireza Abbasi
University of New South Wales - School of Engineering and IT Australia
li Jaafari
Emeritus Professor and JCS Consultants, Sydney Australia


In this paper, we have investigated the quantity and quality of worldwide research production in the field of “project management” over the past 35 years. We conducted bibliometric analysis using the Scopus database between 1980 and 2014 to develop an understanding of the evolution of project management as a field of endeavour. Using the knowledge of a domain expert in the field of “project management”, we first developed a set of reliable keywords which represent the field. Secondly, we developed a data extraction strategy for searching on the phrase “project management” in the title or keyword or abstract of publications by limiting our sources to journals in English. We observed the evolution of this field by analysing not only the quantity of publications, but also their quality (citations) per year and compared their growth trend in four periods to track the evolutionary trends over the last 35 years. The results of our analysis confirm that both the research themes or topics and the active parties involved in project management research are changing over time. It appears that over the four study periods, the understanding of project management as a research and scientific field has broadened substantially to include human factors, strategy and organisational dynamics and complexity management.

Keywords: Project Management ,Industry-focused Innovations ,APM Body of Knowledge Framework ,Bibliometric Analysis ,



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